Dubbo forum aims to fill 'gaps' in psychosocial, mental health support

MIND THE GAP: Marathon Health's Jessica Brown chats with chief executive officer of Mental Health Australia Frank Quinlan at the first Mind the Gap forum in 2017. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
MIND THE GAP: Marathon Health's Jessica Brown chats with chief executive officer of Mental Health Australia Frank Quinlan at the first Mind the Gap forum in 2017. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

A forum in Dubbo will reveal where “gaps have emerged” in psychosocial and mental health support since the July 2017 rollout in Western NSW of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Participants will be encouraged to work together to overcome barriers to supporting people with psychosocial disability at the second annual Mind the Gap forum on Friday.

The first Mind the Gap forum in May 2017 flagged the potential inadequacy of inflexible NDIS support packages for people with psychosocial disability, who can have unpredictable needs.

Mental Health Australia reports that psychosocial disability describes the experience of people with impairments and participation restrictions resulting from mental illness. 

They range from not being able to think clearly or manage emotions through to an inability to engage in educational or cultural activities.

Not-for-profit primary healthcare provider, Marathon Health, is hosting the second annual Mind the Gap forum on behalf of the Western NSW Partners in Recovery Consortium. 

Marathon Health’s portfolio manager for NDIS, Jessica Brown, said the second forum would be attended by representatives of the NDIS, Western NSW Local Health District, Western NSW Primary Health Network, clinicians, service providers, and people with lived experience of psychosocial disability and their carers. 

“Meeting again gives attendees a chance to collaborate and brainstorm the barriers that continue to exist, and share strategies that might help to overcome them, providing better overall support to our customers,” she said.

Key note speakers at the forum will include strategic not-for profit sector marketer, Fran Connelley, and representatives from the NDIS, NSW Ministry for Health and not-for-profit organisations.

“Speakers will be focusing on how services need to continue to evolve to reach the people that need them and enable choice and control,” Ms Brown said. 

“We’ll also be providing information for psychosocial support services to understand the business opportunities the NDIS provides and how to grow.”

Chief executive officer of Mental Health Australia Frank Quinlan attended last year’s forum where he said it was important that “people who don’t get into the NDIS continue to get adequate services and the people who do get into the scheme get appropriate packages of care.”

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